Drooling over top-of-the-line $10,000 bikes can be fun, but it can also be a bit disheartening. Most of us might as well be looking through Lamborghini catalogs because a winning lottery ticket is the only way we’ll ever obtain such a luxurious, high-performance machine.
As a member of the 99%, I appreciate those companies who offer a balance of quality and affordability for the average joe. Commuter bikes are a natural ‘value’ choice, as they’re very simple in design yet extremely useful for transportation, running errands or pleasure cruising.
For those who didn’t think they could afford a solid brand-name bike, State Bicycle Co. has just introduced a new steel framed Core Line with a price tag of just $299 USD. With their sharp looks and ‘real bike company’ geometry and construction, brands like State Co. are giving department store jalopies a run for their money…
At these prices the new Core Line bikes are obviously not made for pavement pounding road warriors. Instead they’re aimed at casual riders who don’t need an ultra-performance machine, just a simple city cruiser to get from A to B. The Core Line bikes may also be an ideal quiver addition for serious riders who can’t leave their much pricier bike outside their workplace.
The new Core Line achieves a lower entry price by using high tensile steel for the frames, rather than the chromoly featured in their 4130 Core Line models (which sell for $450). The design is very simple, but the frames do include bottle cage bolts on the down tubes, and rear carrier rack mounts. The frame and fork also have fender mounts so you can add a set if desired.
Flip-flop rear hubs allow you to choose between fixed-gear or freewheel riding, and front and rear caliper brakes are included with every bike so you’re ready to go either way. The rear dropouts also feature integrated chain tensioners to make wheel positioning easy. While they’re not shown in the pics, platform pedals are included too.
Up front a pair of riser bars are outfitted with Vans waffle pattern grips, and even at this budget price State Co. includes threadless headsets on the Core Line bikes (kudos for that). As is key with commuters, the 40mm deep-V wheels are secured with nuts and the seat clamps are bolted to keep things from being quickly released by bike thieves or vandals.
The steel Core Line frames come in three sizes- 50cm, 54cm and 58cm, with a size medium complete bike weighing in at 24.5 lbs. There are three colors to choose from- Wulf Matte Black, Beorn Classic Teal and Chrome, and Wyldcat Killer Matte Cherry Red. The Core Line bikes come with a 5 year warranty on the frame, and 1-2 years on select components.